If you can’t effectively communicate, your career will face some difficult uphill challenges.
Try these 3 communications tactics to advance your career; they worked for me.
Establish YOU as the #1 fan of the organization’s strategy
One way to separate yourself from the inside crowd is to be seen as one who is ahead of the change curve and to establish yourself as THE zealot and avid advocate and supporter for your organization’s strategy.
Use your communications skills to make that evident.
Organize events to discuss the direction of the organization and what it specifically means to everyone. Talk about what it means to sales, marketing and customer service. Be as granular as you can to help paint a picture of what the strategy means to the various functions in the organization.
Don’t intellectualize the discussion. People will tune you out unless they feel you believe what you are saying. If you are passionate in your communication, they will believe!
Use rich visuals in your presentations. Most people have to work hard to interpret words and numbers, but they get it right away when they see colourful and clever graphics.
Tell stories that bring the elements of your strategy to life.
Stories have the power to visually communicate what any strategy “looks like”when it is successfully being executed.
Build your personal brand
Active communication is vital in building one’s personal brand.
One dimension of my personal brand was customer service; I eventually became known as “The Service Guy.”
I spent excessive time with frontline people, conducted employee service workshops – which I called “Bear Pit” Sessions — exploring new ideas to implement and take customer service to a new level.
I was frequently asked to speak at employee rallies and meetings to explain the new service journey we were on.
The media were extremely interested in our organization’s service strategy as well; I did many interviews and personal air time rose.
Other organizations would also invite me to speak at conferences and to their employee groups.
The company’s service image and my service brand grew harmoniously.
Demonstrate your leadership abilities
It’s one thing to get employees to understand what the organization is trying to do strategically; it’s quite another for them to be emotionally involved in helping to implement it.
Passion is an amazing thing. When people are intellectually convinced that change is required and are emotionally “all in” to make it happen, transformation occurs.
I chose every opportunity to engage with employees on what the company had to do differently if we were to survive a dramatic shift in our business from a tightly regulated business to one that had to thrive in a highly competitive market.
I had weekly meetings scheduled on my calendar to ensure employee conversations were a priority.
I painted a picture of what winning would look like in the trenches battling it out with the enemy. We discussed the opportunities this new world would present to everyone and the excitement and satisfaction we would all receive by beating a common foe.
My focus was not only on the company’s plan; but also on the “gory” details of executing it.
Good communications skills are a requisite for a successful career, but they are not acquired overnight; they require constant practice to refine them.
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